Folks, I've been at the US Invitational Young Physicists Tournament in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It was a well-attended event with the highest level of physics in the tournament's 5-year history. Attending were:
Woodberry Forest School, VA
The Harker School, CA
Vistamar School, CA
Oak Ridge High School, TN
Shenzhen Middle School, China
Calverton School, MD
The standings after the preliminary rounds put (in order) Woodberry, Harker, Rye, and Vistamar in the semifinals. Woodberry and Rye advanced; Rye's Andrew Mollerus and Michael Thomas defeated Woodberry's Peter Chen and Damien Chang in a taut, tense final physics fight. Congratulations to Rye on their first USIYPT championship.
So, um, I lived and breathed physics fights for days, and I'm still adjusting back to the school routine. My pile of work is testing the compressive strength of paper. So, you'll get the next real post soon. Teaser: I graded a homework that included many common conceptual mistakes, including the "fact" that a battery must always provide constant current. I wrote a quiz to help bust the misconception, and I actually emailed that quiz to the class folder tonight in advance of the actual quiz tomorrow. I'll explain why I did that, I'll show you the quiz, and I'll explain whether the gambit did or did not work.